Squad Changes And Injuries Impact As City Open Campaign

Impetus’ Johnathan Stack was in Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor‘s media conference for us ahead of their season opener at Aston Villa tomorrow. Taylor knows that a mixture of key players departing and injuries make this game a major banana skin amongst a backdrop of concern over the players that have left the club (17/9/22).

Above: Manchester City head coach Gareth Taylor. Photo: Lynn Cameron/FA

It’s been a tough period for Manchester City. Key players have departed, a Champions League qualifying stage exit and fans have expressed concerns about what is going on. Despite the background of the Euros joy, it has not been the most joyful of summers in the sky-blue half of Manchester.

A rebuilding process has been required by City head coach Gareth Taylor and his staff down at the Etihad Campus after losing Lucy Bronze and Keira Walsh to Barcelona, Georgia Stanway to Bayern Munich, Caroline Weir to Real Madrid, with Karen Bardsley, Jill Scott, and Ellen White retiring.

Above: Talented teenage Australian international Mary Fowler’s arrival is potentially huge for Manchester City. Photo: Kris Goman for Impetus.

Manchester City did manage to fill in the gaps in the squad and brought in Matilda Mary Fowler from Montpellier, Deyna Castellanos and Laia Aleixandri from Atletico Madrid, Leila Ouahabi from Barcelona, Sandy MacIver from Everton, Kerstin Casparij from Twente and Yui Hasegawa from West Ham.

Hasegawa was brought in after City sold Lioness midfielder Walsh for a world record fee of £400,000.

After the delayed start to the season City will now begin their season, with a trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa.

In his media conference, City head coach Gareth Taylor recognised he had lost key players, but was positive overall. “I think we’re in a good place. We have lost experience, but we’ve brought in players we think are good for the future, we’ve probably lowered the average age quite a bit.

“With that sometimes you don’t want to lose all that experience but there were various circumstances with all the players. Probably more recently, Ellen’s retirement and Keira moving late was a bit of a jolt, up until then we were in a good place and it left us with a week or so once we realised Keira had requested to leave.”

Gareth Taylor, Manchester City head coach.

“We had to strengthen and we managed to do that with Yui, we were pleased to bring her to the Club. There’s been a lot of changes but we’re pretty content with where we’re at as a squad of players.”

Above: Gareth Taylor – the Manchester City head coach needs a winning start tomorrow after a testing summer. Photo: Sky Sports.

Ahead of the game with Villa, Taylor said that Ruby Mace and Yui Hasegawa would be unavailable through injury while Matilda Alanna Kennedy could return to the squad after picking up an injury while on international duty with Australia. Taylor said “Ruby Mace won’t make it. That’s a certainty,” Taylor explained.

“She has had a little bit of a setback in her injury so it will be an extended period away from the team.

“Alanna Kennedy is close to returning but we’re not sure if she is going to have enough training minutes under her belt to be a part of the squad.

“They’re quite similar injuries, (Ruby and Alanna) both muscle injuries in the thigh region. Hopefully, they won’t be too far away.

Above: Alanna Kennedy could potentially miss tomorrow’s trip to the Midlands. Photo: Sky Sports.

“Yui is struggling a little with an ankle injury she sustained on the final day training with West Ham so she won’t make the weekend. Outside of that, the squad is healthy.”

You can read ImpetusNathan Edwards‘ account of Aston Villa head coach Carla Ward’s media conference ahead of tomorrow’s match here: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/09/17/carla-ward-city-are-still-formidable-opponents/

Aston Villa vs Manchester City takes place on Sunday at Villa Park with a 12:30pm KO local time, 9:30pm AEST, 7:30pm AWST, 1:30pm CET. On the UK it is live on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

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